HMNZS OTAGO ready for visit to Dunedin

HMNZS OTAGO arriving at the Naval Base
HMNZS OTAGO arrives at the Devonport Naval Base (MC10-0106-030)

15 July 2010

The first of the new Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMNZS OTAGO, under the Command of Lieutenant Commander Simon Rooke, is preparing for a first visit to her homeport region. HMNZS OTAGO will berth in Dunedin from Thursday 22 July to Tuesday 27 July 2010.

During this historic visit OTAGO will be involved in a Ceremony of Welcome, the ship will be open to the public. Personnel will conduct a Charter Parade through the streets of Dunedin and host a large number of organised tours, to name but a few of the highlights planned. The Navy Band will perform in Dunedin, Balclutha, and Gore. 

The Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Tony Parr, will attend the Charter Parade at 10:30 am on Saturday 24 July 2010, where the crew of OTAGO march from TOROA to the Octagon. At the parade the ship will be presented the charter to the city which will allow its officers and crew freedom to march through the city of Dunedin with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, colours flying, band playing and drums beating.

OTAGO will be open to the public from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday 25 July at Birch Street Wharf.  The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Rooke warmly invites the public of the Otago region to tour the ship and to meet the members of the crew.

 Media Opportunities:

  • Thursday 22 July - there are limited places available for media to sail from Weller’s Rock into Dunedin at 7 am onboard HMNZS OTAGO. 
  • Requests for interviews with the Commanding Officer HMNZS OTAGO
  • Navy Band performances throughout the visit
  • Ship tours


Thursday 22 July 2010

1000  OTAGO berths in Dunedin (Birch Street Wharf)

1030-1130  Whakatau and Official welcome by Te Runanga o Otakou, Birch Street Wharf shed followed by VIP tour of the ship

1045-1115  Navy Band performance at Montecilllo Home

1130-1200  Navy Band performance at the Dunedin RSA

 Friday 23 July 2010

0900-1200 Organised visits to OTAGO

1000 Navy band performance at Otago Girls high School

1200 – 1330 Commanding Officer OTAGO hosts official luncheon

1730-2000 Function hosted for OTAGO crew by the Otago officers Club         

1800 – 1900 OTAGO ship tour by TOROA Ships Company

 Saturday 24 July 2010

1030-1230 Charter parade and Commissioning Ceremony

1230-1400  Civic Reception at the Glen Roy Auditorium hosted by the Dunedin City Council

 Sunday 25 July 2010

0930-110 Church Service at St Pauls Cathedral, band in attendance

1000 - 1500 OTAGO Open to the public, birch Street Wharf- all welcome

1200 OTAGO’s crew to visit Karitane Iwi

 Monday 26 July 2010

0900-1200 Organised visits to OTAGO

0930-1100 OTAGO crew to visit the CCS Rooms in Dunedin

1130 and 1300  Navy Band performance at South Otago High School Balclutha

1800-1900 OTAGO ship tour for sea cadet units TS WAIREKA and NIMROD

 Tuesday 27 July 2010

1000 OTAGO departs Dunedin for Bluff

1100  Navy Band performance at the James Cumming Wing, Gore Civic Centre


Pennant Number- P148

International Call sign- ZMKF

Motto- "He Kaitiaki no nga tai ki te tonga" (southern guardian)

HMNZS OTAGO is the first of the Offshore Patrol Vessels to be accepted by the Royal New Zealand Navy as part of Project Protector. OTAGO was accepted into the fleet by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr on 18 February 2010, in Melbourne.

The regional affiliation for OTAGO is Otago and Southland with its homeports being Dunedin and Invercargill/Bluff.

The Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), OTAGO and WELLINGTON, deliver substantial new capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy.  The ships can go further offshore, stay at sea longer, and conduct more challenging operations than the Inshore Patrol Vessels, and will enable the RNZN to conduct patrol and surveillance operations around New Zealand, the southern ocean and into the Pacific.

The OPV’s are capable of many roles including maritime patrol, surveillance and response.  They have the ability to conduct helicopter operations using a Seasprite SH2G helicopter, boarding operations using the ships Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, or Military Support Operations with embarked forces.

The OPV’s have strengthened hulls which enable them to enter southern waters where ice may be encountered.  They are not designed as ice-breakers or to enter Antarctic ice-packs, but have the range and capability to undertake patrols in the southern ocean where ice may be encountered.

The ships are highly automated and operate with a core crew of 35, plus 10 flight crew to operate a helicopter.  The ships power and control systems are fully computerised.

Displacement:                      1,900 tonnes
Length Overall:                     85 metres
Beam:                                    14 metres  
Range:                                   6000 nautical miles
Speed:                                   Maximum continuous 22 knots

Core ships company            35
Flight personnel:                   10
Government agencies:         4
Additional personnel:           30
Total:                                        79
Armament:                              One 25mm Bushmaster Naval gun and two .50 calibre machine guns


The Offshore Patrol Vessels will be able to operate throughout New Zealand’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the southern ocean and the Pacific.They will carry out a range of roles including patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, support to peacekeeping operations and sea training for the Navy. 

Media point of contact and for registrations of interest in the media opportunities, please contact-

Lieutenant Sarah Campbell - Media Adviser-Navy on 021 244 0638 or Lieutenant Commander Ian Marshall, Resident Naval Officer on 027 474 3990.

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.